'Dexter' - 'Helter Skelter' recap: Dexter's ship is sinking. All aboard?

michael-c-hall-jennifer-carpenter-dexter-708.jpgTonight's (Nov. 25) action-oriented episode of "Dexter" was more reminiscent of "The Usual Suspects" -- including a harbor shootout -- than the carefully planned kills we've come to expect from our favorite serial killer ( Michael C. Hall) and his new sidekick.

Even Hannah McKay ( Yvonne Strahovski) joined the fray. But while his girlfriend survived her ordeal, he lost his new frenemy, Isaak ( Ray Stevenson) -- who, ironically, taught his nemesis a little bit about living.

Sink or Swim: Dexter takes Hannah out on his boat (there were a lot of scenes involving watercraft tonight), and it's the first time we've seen the femme fatale thrown off-balance. It's also the first time Dexter has taken one of his victims for a ride on the Slice of Life without tossing their body overboard, usually in many different pieces. This time, it's the water that's choppy, but Hannah is less seasick than terrified. As she admits to Dexter, her father's idea of swimming lessons was to toss his child in the water and watch her drown. The couple's fathers sure had unique ideas about parenting. 

The Enemy of My Enemy: Dexter and Isaak take their bromance to the next level when the mobster asks Dexter for help in taking out the hitmen whom his former henchman, George, has hired to kill him. So why would Dexter agree? Isaak has violated the bro code and kidnapped Hannah, with Jurg threatening to kill her if Dexter doesn't comply. But first he must ask his sister to pull the police tail off Isaak.

Dysfunctional Family: Dexter assures Deb ( Jennifer Carpenter) that her feelings for him are "logical" -- "the way I love M&Ms even though I know I shouldn't." Not the most comforting metaphor, but Dex does seem to ease his sister's embarrassment after confessing her romantic feelings for him. Deb finally agrees to call off Isaak's 24/7 tail, but warns her brother that he'll "never be safe" with Hannah. (Considering Deb's track record, he's definitely safer dating Hannah than his -- gag -- sister. And maybe it's time Deb checked out Match.com.)

Ironically, it's Deb who saves Hannah while Dex is bromancing Isaak. For some reason, Hannah's otherwise-vigilant captor lets down his guard, and they scuffle. He ends up dead but not before stabbing her. Deb finds her just in time; when Hannah asks why she saved her, Deb snaps, "Maybe you can be fine being responsible for someone's death, but that's not who I am." Lieutenant Morgan also insists she's going to focus on herself rather than protecting her brother.

Sink or Swim, Part 2: Unfortunately (for us, because Ray Stevenson is so gorgeous), Dex isn't able to protect Isaak from George, who fatally shoots him after Dex and Isaak take out his hired henchmen. Dexter grants Isaak's last wish -- to share his lover Viktor's watery grave -- and vows vengeance against George.

Actually, two Miami Metro men are gunning for Georgie-boy. Quinn is livid that Isaak's heir apparent slept with Nadia, and fought back with his fists. Will Dexter kill George in time to save Quinn's career and Nadia's life?

Uneasy Alliance: Dexter really should be worrying about saving himself. LaGuerta visits former chief Tom Matthews, now enjoying an early retirement thanks to the new captain, and asks for his help in reexamining the Bay Harbor Butcher case. He bristles at first, but eventually agrees -- but only if she can return the favor by reinstating his pension. It's only a matter of time before they have Dexter in their cross-hairs, right?

Killer Quotes:

"You know what would be great at your restaurant? S'mores." --Masuka to Batista while investigating an arson death.

"What is it with my people? First in math, first to check out." --Masuka again, after an Asian's apparent suicide.

"Find something to watch -- and none of that American reality s***." --Jurg, tossing the remote control to his prisoner, Hannah.

"The only help you'll get from me is a lift back to Cuba." --Matthews to LaGuerta before his change of heart.
Photo/Video credit: Showtime
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